What is Currents?
This spring, Galen Hecht and Maria Hagen launched Currents, a podcast which will eventually air on Community Radio WERU FM. Currents is
available here on the Outlands website. On April 9,
Ursa spoke with Galen and Maria about the project.
UB: What is Currents?
GH: Currents is a community radio program that brings student conversations on international affairs to the waves. The program incorporates human ecological perspectives into the discussion
Changing Horizons: Bolivia Today
In Winter 2015, Adrian Fernandez Jauregui, Maria Escalante, Pablo Aguilera del Castillo, and Julian Velez went to Bolivia to study the country from varying perspectives—land use to politics. Maria Hagen and Galen Hecht interviewed them about their experiences and opinions and constructed the first Currents Radio podcast. Click here to enjoy!
of current issues. We will tell stories with the voice of the community, hosting a range of presentations from live, topical discussions to ongoing documentary projects.
UB: Why is the program called Currents?
GH: Like us humans, the earth is 70% water, and all is connected by currents. As water travels across the globe, we bring stories from all over so that the waves break right here in Bar Harbor.
UB: Galen, you spent the winter studying abroad in the Yucatan in Mexico. How did this experience inspire
GH: In the Yucatan I lived and studied with a local Mayan radio personality, Bernardo Camaal, AKA Arux Duende del Mayab. Bernardo taught me ins and outs of the radio and showed me his role as community "communicator". The communicator is a catalyst for community engagement and action. To be a communicator, one must respect the voice of the people and serve as the medium through which stories and opinions travel. Bernardo has served his people for years, and his radio programs encourage local intellectualism and promote Mayan culture. It is our hope to apply some of Bernardo's powerful lessons to Currents, bringing the voices of College of the Atlantic together.
UB: Maria, why are you involved with Currents?
MH: When I was in Argentina during high school, I visited a recording studio and introduced an American song on the radio since no one there could pronounce the song's title. I was fascinated by the idea that people all over Buenos Aires could hear my voice, even if it was just for a second. Since then the thought of working with radio always floated in my mind, but I never thought I would actually do it. Currents is making that idea a reality. I love hearing and telling stories and radio combines both.
UB: What is one exciting and one scary thing about the project?
MH: The scariest thing for me is learning about the technology. I've always been intimidated by lots of buttons and complicated programs. Having someone to learn with is making that process much less frightening, but there is still much to learn.
The best thing about the project is the vastness of territory we can explore. There are so many stories to tell, and each day more are being written and lived. I get to be on the front lines, thinking about these stories in a completely new way. Telling stories is not entirely new to me, but doing it on the air—where you can't see the storyteller—is completely new. I feel like I'm learning to paint images with sounds rather than color, to write with a much more expressive voice. It's a completely new way of expressing something and I'm very excited for this opportunity.
UB: Why is it important to engage in global affairs?
MH: Martin Luther King, Jr said "an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." I believe that he was right, not only on the question of justice, but on the whole scale of politics from local to national to global. Violence reverberates around the world through each life lost; each wound shapes the world we live in. Each time diplomacy is abandoned in favor of military action, we feel the threat of more violence. Each time diplomacy succeeds, we feel relief as hard feelings recede. In an increasingly globalized world, we must know more about different cultures, customs, and ideas in order to be more tolerant of others and be more well-rounded and respectful people.
Maria (left) and Galen recording an interview
Colors of the Antiplano, Bolivian Andes